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Greggs to shut all stores completely from Tuesday over coronavirus social distancing concerns

The latest headlines in your inbox Greggs is to shut all stores from Tuesday and will cease offering a takeaway service. The UK’s largest bakery chain said it had been doing “everything we can to keep our shops open and everyone safe,” but “it has become clear that to help us all maintain social distance…

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Greggs is to shut all stores from Tuesday and will cease offering a takeaway service.

The UK’s largest bakery chain said it had been doing “everything we can to keep our shops open and everyone safe,” but “it has become clear that to help us all maintain social distance we need to go further.”

It explained the “difficult decision in a statement on its website, reading: “Whilst our shops will be temporarily closed, our dedication to our communities won’t stop.

“We’ll continue to provide support to our local communities by distributing any remaining unsold food and offering support for those in hardship through the Greggs Foundation.

“To our customers, thank you for your ongoing support – we know these are difficult and unsettling times, and through our community work we hope to be able to continue serving you, and your friends and families in some way.”

The high street favourite paid tribute to the hard work of its “amazing staff,” adding in the update: “They live and breathe the Greggs spirit, and we couldn’t have got through these challenging times without their unwavering positivity and cooperation.

“While we are closed, we will continue supporting our colleagues with full contract hours for as long as we are able although we will need to keep this under review as the situation develops.

It went on: “Last but by no means least, a special thank you to the key workers at the front line of this crisis and all those who continue to work tirelessly to reduce the spread of the virus.

“There are so many unsung heroes, and we’re in awe of you all.”

Greggs joins several fast food providers and retailers in announcing plans to shut doors, including McDonalds, Costa, Starbucks and Pret.

The government announced on Friday that all restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs should close effective immediately and go takeaway only.

Retailers can remain open, but some have already announced plans to close, with John Lewis, Ikea, New Look and Waterstones shutting doors.

Food outlets have been increasing donations to food banks, with Asda agreeing to £5 million for FoodShare, and Co-op pledging £1.5 million.

Co-op added it has built in additional working hours for store colleagues to undertake more frequent handwashing throughout the day.

The company’s funeral workers have also been designated as key workers.

Empty streets in UK after pubs and restaurants close

DFS said it would be paying all staff full pay for March and April, regardless of whether they are self-isolating or looking after family members.

John Lewis will shut all 50 stores at the end of Monday trading, although Waitrose food halls in the department stores will remain open.

The supermarket is also setting aside a proportion of hard-to-find and essential products for NHS staff and will be available to collect at any time of day to help work around their shifts.

There will also be priority checkouts for NHS staff, along with donations of items including pillows and phone chargers.

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